Baptism Question

Greetings,
Question: A non-Catholic, at the age of reason, is administered the Sacrament of Baptism by a Protestant minister. He is baptized but does not really understand the spiritual ramifications (regeneration, justification, sanctification) of what has really taken place to him. That being the case, is that baptism a valid baptism?

Kingdomson

Yes, so long as he didn’t intend NOT to be baptized. But it would be a grave sin on the part of those responsible for his education, to deprive him of that important knowledge.

Given the way you’ve worded the scenario, the answer is yes.

Ok. Thanks for your reply.
Now, that his baptism is valid, he is as the Catechism says, "Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ… Baptism incorporates us into the Church (1267). Having become a member of the Church… (1269).

Though he was baptized as a non-Catholic, in a non-Catholic church, has he not in reality been baptized into the Catholic Church, since the Catholic Church is the One True Church on earth and outside of her there is no salvation? If that individual Protestant rejects the Catholic Church or its dogma on the sacraments, the Papacy, etc. he has obstinately separated from the Faith of the Roman Church and has therefore severed his membership in the Church of Christ. What say you?

KingdomSon

I don’t think a 7-year-old child (presumed to be the age of reason) baptized by a Catholic priest would particularly understand such “spiritual ramifications” either. Not that that in any way affects the validity of the Baptism.

Thanks Tarpeian Rock.

So basically then the validity is not in one’s understanding of it (baptism), but in the proper administrative formula (water, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

KingdomSon

First off I would ask you who says that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church? Furthermore a proper baptism may have taken place but his/her knowledge of the truth is lessened by the fact that they are not a practicing Catholic, educated in the ways and truths of the Church. Therefore their disbelief in Catholic doctrines isn’t held against them by God because they do not understand the full truth, as you say, that the Catholic Church is the one true Church.

So in other words, he could have never seperated from the Catholic Church because even though he was an unknowing member he could not cut ties with something he never thought he had ties with.

Such people are in partial (aka imperfect) communion with the Church. CCC 838:

“The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.” Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.”

I think that the general consensus is that in most cases, the separation is not considered to be obstinate.

Greetings USMC_Convert,
I’ll for starters give you 2 Popes (Innocent III, Leo XII) who have declared such that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.

  1. Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, Dec. 18, 1208:
    “By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved."

  2. Pope Leo XII, Quod hoc ineunte (# 8), May 24, 1824:
    ** “We address all of you who are still removed from the true Church and the road to salvation.** In this universal rejoicing, one thing is lacking: that having been called by the inspiration of the Heavenly Spirit and having broken every decisive snare, you might sincerely agree with the mother Church, outside of whose teachings there is no salvation.”

[quote=USMC_Convert]Furthermore a proper baptism may have taken place but his/her knowledge of the truth is lessened by the fact that they are not a practicing Catholic, educated in the ways and truths of the Church. Therefore their disbelief in Catholic doctrines isn’t held against them by God because they do not understand the full truth, as you say, that the Catholic Church is the one true Church.

So in other words, he could have never seperated from the Catholic Church because even though he was an unknowing member he could not cut ties with something he never thought he had ties with.
[/quote]

So you say “he was a UNKNOWING MEMBER.” So the point is, that I was making, is that this individuals baptism placed him in reality into the One True Catholic Church, even though he was not aware of it (unknowing member). But when he did eventually gain some insight into Catholicism and rejected it outright as false, he did in fact cut his tie with the One True Church of Christ, unknowingly. But his ignorance of what he had done doesn’t change the reality of what has taken place. He can only now be reconciled to Mother Church, by repentance and acknowledging that in her alone is salvation.

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 11), Jan. 6, 1928:
“The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation."

KingdomSon

Thanks cominghome 1966.

But as you acknowledge, which is my point, the non-Catholic who is baptized is in communion with the Church. He might not know it intellectually, but in reality he has been placed in the Body of Christ, the (Catholic) Church.

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (# 27), June 29, 1943:
“He (Christ) also determined that through Baptism (cf. Jn. 3:5) those who should believe would be incorporated in the Body of the Church."

Kingdomson

Yes, he is in communion with the Church, but not in full (perfect) communion.

For example, even though I tell people I am a convert to the Catholic Church, it is more accurate to say that I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The fact that the Catholic Church is the one true Church and holds the keys to salvation does not mean that those outside of the Church cannot be saved, remember Jesus tells us, to you these things are impossible but to God nothing is impossible.

Also you have to look at the context and conditions where those Popes were speaking, if indeed they did say that. It would appear to me that they were speaking, if they in fact said those things, specifically about heretics who were probably attempting to bring harm to the Church. Finally those quotes were not made from the infallible chair of Peter so anyone, including a Pope can be wrong, he is only infallible under certain conditions of which I’m not going into detail right now.

Now let us go with the senario you are attempting here, a Protestant is baptized using the correct method acceptable to the Catholic Church. They are then considered to be part of the body of Christ. However they are not taught the truths of the Church, they don’t make a change in their hearts, to be a part of the Church. BUT, at age 25, let’s say, they come to believe in praying for the dead. They have gained some truth, but does that mean that they abandoned the true Church because they don’t convert to Catholicism? No. It just means that much like the Anglicans, Lutherans and Jews, they believe that it is a good thing to pray for the dead.

See you are forgetting a quote from another one of our Popes, and that is that every Protestant religion has a certain degree of truth, some more, some less, but they do have some degree of truth. So in essence every Protestant religion does believe some of what the Catholic Church teaches.

Does the fact that they do not have the whole truth mean they cannot be saved, no, and I believe that if you asked anyone of the popes they would all agree that you can be non-Catholic and still make it to heaven.

Yes, salvation is available to all who will take of the water of life freely. But that salvation is only found in the One True Catholic Church. As Pope St. Pius X says…

“Pope St. Pius X, Iucunda sane (# 9), March 12, 1904: “Yet at the same time We cannot but remind all, great and small, as Pope St. Gregory did, of the absolute necessity of having recourse to this Church in order to have eternal salvation.”

[quote=USMC-Convert]Also you have to look at the context and conditions where those Popes were speaking, if indeed they did say that. It would appear to me that they were speaking, if they in fact said those things, specifically about heretics who were probably attempting to bring harm to the Church.
[/quote]

If they said these things??? I quoted them verbatim. You doubt their very documented words? It would seem you are attempting to avoid and excuse away what they powerfully said.

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 2), May 27, 1832:
“Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life."

[quote=USMC_Convert]Finally those quotes were not made from the infallible chair of Peter so anyone, including a Pope can be wrong, he is only infallible under certain conditions of which I’m not going into detail right now.
[/quote]

Ok, then here is one made from the infallible chair of St. Peter…

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra:
“Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity."

[quote=USMC_Convert]Now let us go with the senario you are attempting here, a Protestant is baptized using the correct method acceptable to the Catholic Church. They are then considered to be part of the body of Christ. However they are not taught the truths of the Church, they don’t make a change in their hearts, to be a part of the Church. BUT, at age 25, let’s say, they come to believe in praying for the dead. They have gained some truth, but does that mean that they abandoned the true Church because they don’t convert to Catholicism? No. It just means that much like the Anglicans, Lutherans and Jews, they believe that it is a good thing to pray for the dead.
[/quote]

Sir, the True Church is Catholic. If for some reason our non-Catholic individual after baptism into the Body of Christ, the True Church, strays due to problems now confronting him that Catholicism is the true One Faith, but he rejects that light that is coming to him, he has abandoned the Church he was “unknowingly a Member” of, and now needs to repent and acknowledge his error and convert back to Catholicism, since outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation as was said "ex cathedra by Pope Clement V…

Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, Decree # 30, 1311-1312, ex cathedra:
“Since however there is for both regulars and seculars, for superiors and subjects, for exempt and non-exempt, one universal Church, outside of which there is no salvation, for all of whom there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism."

[quote=USMC_Convert]See you are forgetting a quote from another one of our Popes, and that is that every Protestant religion has a certain degree of truth, some more, some less, but they do have some degree of truth. So in essence every Protestant religion does believe some of what the Catholic Church teaches.
[/quote]

But they don’t have the “fulness of the truth.” They only have pieces. But regardless, they are outside the confines of safety if they are not in the One Universal Church, which is the Catholic Church.

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, “Iniunctum nobis,” Nov. 13, 1565, ex cathedra: “This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved… I now profess and truly hold."

[quote=USMC_Convert]Does the fact that they do not have the whole truth mean they cannot be saved, no, and I believe that if you asked anyone of the popes they would all agree that you can be non-Catholic and still make it to heaven.
[/quote]

So then all roads lead to Heaven? Why have then the “One Faith” if salvation is possible outside the Catholic Church, which again it is not, as spoken from the Chair of St. Peter.

KingdomSon

[quote=KingdomSon]So you say “he was a UNKNOWING MEMBER.” So the point is, that I was making, is that this individuals baptism placed him in reality into the One True Catholic Church, even though he was not aware of it (unknowing member). But when he did eventually gain some insight into Catholicism and rejected it outright as false, he did in fact cut his tie with the One True Church of Christ, unknowingly. But his ignorance of what he had done doesn’t change the reality of what has taken place. He can only now be reconciled to Mother Church, by repentance and acknowledging that in her alone is salvation.
[/quote]

Right.

But bear in mind that his rejection of Catholicism is based on his acceptance of Protestantism. IOW, his understanding is clouded, and most likely not culpable. Therefore he is not in fact severed from the Salvation of Jesus Christ which Baptism confers.

It is very difficult to make a judgement, and indeed it is not our place to judge the motives of people, regarding the acceptance or rejection of Truth. It is something that can motivate you, however, to try and reach this person with the Truth, in the kindly and loving way.

My favorite scenarios are with that towering intellect and profoundly Holy soul, John Henry Newman. In spite of his knowledge and devotion to Jesus, he strongly felt, to his core, that the Anglican church was a true branch of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Wiseman tried in very subtle ways over the years to prod his thinking in the direction that would help him see the Truth. After some time, Wiseman’s phrase “Securus judicat orbis terrarum” created the crack in his certitude that eventually led to his conversion some YEARS later! Likewise, Newman’s family of brothers and sisters, including his mother, were never converted to Catholicism. In fact, Newman did not worry about those Protestant friends and relatives that were devout Christians. He would gladly lead them to Catholicism if they inquired and showed any interest, but he never took the view that they were not saved.

I think you put the “obstinately” in the wrong place.

If that individual Protestant OBSTINATELY rejects the CC or its dogma on the sacraments, the Papacy, etc, he has, indeed, separated from the Faith -]of the Roman Church/-] of Christ and has therefore severed his membership in the Church of Christ.

That is what the CC professes, and has professed consistently for 2000 years.

It’s nothing more than, and nothing less than, an expression of Christ’s words: outside of Christ there is no salvation.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”–John 14:6

For without the Catholic Church, Christ has no Body.

One cannot come to Christ, except by coming through the Catholic Church.

Okay first off I don’t know why you are trying to make it so that no one outside of the Church can go to heaven. Is the safest, best and only real way through the Catholic Church, yes. Are there people in heaven who were not Catholic while on earth, yes.

Why am I doubting the words that you supposedly quoted verbatim? Because I cannot see the source and thus have to take your word for it. So I am not saying “they did not say that” I am saying they may have but I don’t know.

Finally I see you are not Catholic so I am suspicious as to your motives, I say to myself, no matter who this guy quotes I know that there are non Catholics in heaven therefore he is wrong. I know that we do not teach that you must be Catholic to enter heaven, if not your in hell… I know that Gods Divine Mercy tries to save everyone, regardless of how they lived their lives.

No matter how you put it, I speak the truth, we are all saying pretty much the same thing and we are all practicing Catholics, so I guess the real question is, why do you doubt us, and why are you trying to make your stance true when it is not?

So you are saying that there are no non-Catholics in heaven? You are asserting that every person in heaven was Catholic during life?

Then you directly contradict the Mystics and Saints of the Catholic Church. Then you are calling the whole message of Divine Mercy a sham.

If there is no mercy, if there is no love for those outside the Catholic Church then we are truly doomed, for then we serve a God who will instead of showing Mercy to us sinners, expects and demands the rigors of the law, exactly how the Pharisee’s did.

Try reading a book called A message from the Father. It is written as it was dictated by God the Father. I think you will find some surprising things in there, including our Father’s absolute and total mercy.

As we continue this debate try to think of things from the perspective of God the Father. The best good Father the world has ever know, and then respond. For if what you are saying and agreeing with is true, then a father should not be vey merciful, but exacting, harsh and demanding…

To finish up, I have no fancy quotes from popes but I have faith in what I know and have been taught, I have faith in my Father, I have faith in the mercy of God…

The CCC teaches that the church is universal (“Catholic”). Separated bretheren have a portion of that universal truth and can be saved. However, we acknowledge that separated bretheren do not have the fullness of the universal truth which can lead to grave error.

That is how we view the terminology regarding salvation outside the Church.

Are you asserting that there are no non-Christians in heaven?

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